The title of this post might be misleading. Maybe Niall Ferguson was always a hack, but I was under the impression he was a serious thinker.
If he ever were, this article proves that he isn't any more.
It should be mandatory reading in every journalism class. It's a template for how to be a lazy writer that still gets read: write with a strong voice, quote some primary sources, come tantalizingly close to begging the question, and most importantly coin a catchy phrase ("IOU-isolationism").